We are back! We have the most alliances and the most powerful military to set rules and police the Pacific region. We are here to contain the regional ambition of China.
While the Americans were thumping their chests and bosom, China continues to do what it knows best, as the factory of the world, buying and selling to the world. There is no need for China to claim to be a regional power or super power. Only those that are ambitious or losing it will have to keep screaming at the top of their voices that they are superpowers. China should continue to progress quietly and when it is successful, whatever recognition and trappings of power will just tag along. But it must maintain a powerful military to repel the rogue govts’ attempt to invade its territories.
In the meantime let the Americans do what they did best, in trying to be the leader of Asean, telling Asean what to do, leading Asean by the nose. And they can keep on trying to divide Asean countries by stirring up their differences, playing nice to some and thumping down those that would not go along. Yes, divide and rule, and the Asean countries are clearly breaking up with some willingly accepting the American leadership to confront China.
I think the days of Asean being an independent non aligned regional grouping of countries will be over soon. It will be Asean with the A in front representing America. It will become America South East Asian Nations. It will become the successor of the failed SEATO, a political military bloc that was designed by the Americans for confrontation and war with the Communist bloc during the Cold War era.